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Existing patent but can't find product in the market

drebolloso's Avatar

I thought I had  brilliant idea but after some research it turns out it has already been patented; awarded as recent as 2009 with a similar submission going as far as back 1938.  Anyhow,  I have looked for this product on-line; Amazon, retailers, other manufacturers, etc, to no avail.  It's a very useful item, at least to me and the small business industry that I am in.  How can I reach out to the inventor to find out where the product stands, how I can find it or can I fabricate a few samples for my personal use?  Thank you.

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uidesigner's Avatar

Sometimes people patent something to secure the IP but then never reduce it to practice.  IN the time before crowd-sourcing this was more the norm than the exception.  It costs a decent amount of money to create production level prototypes and even more to run a first batch of production.  Many inventors don't have a couple hundred thousand sitting around.  

If your design is completely the same then there is not much you can do.  If however there is something that is an improvement maybe you can approach the inventor or their assignee and see if (after a signed NDA) you both can co-license something or now that Kickstarter exists possibly put it on there.  Back in 2009, their options were very limited.  

Hope that helps.

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